Abraham Lincoln is said to have “freed the slaves” with the Emancipation Proclamation. This legal document declared that slavery was dead and all the slaves were set free.
When this news first spread through southern plantations, many of the slaves would not believe it. They continued slaving for their masters, convinced their promise of freedom was a hoax. Numbers of unscrupulous landowners told their slaves it was just a rumor and kept them under bondage.
But little by little, the truth dawned on them as they saw former slaves walking about, happy in their newfound freedom. One by one, they threw down their loads, turned their backs on slavery, and walked away to begin a new life.
Maybe you haven’t heard yet, or maybe it sounds too good to be true, but Christ emancipated all the slaves to sin at Calvary. You can now “walk out” on the devil! You can throw down your load of sin, walk away from Satan’s dominion, and enter into a new life of freedom.
Let me show you what the Bible means when it talks about dying to sin. When Lincoln emancipated the slaves, the “issue” of slavery died. Not the slave master—not the slave. The slave could walk away free, saying to himself, “Slavery is a dead issue.”
Now the slave could slip back into the field and pick a few more rows of cotton—perhaps through fear or instinct—but that in no way made him a slave again. He was free, but he had to exercise his freedom. The proclamation couldn’t force compliance, and neither could the slave master force him to return. It was a matter of the will of the slave.
The Bible says, “…he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe we shall also live with him” (Romans 6:7-8).
What that means is simply this: Since the matter of your slavery to sin is a dead issue, seeing that Christ has already declared you emancipated, you are now free to live as a new person in Christ by thinking of yourself as unchained.
Christ can’t make you do right, and Satan can’t make you do wrong. Christ declares you are free by faith, but you must act as a free person.